Skip to content
Provided by ASME Logo The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Pioneer Awards Ceremony Banquet

Monday, September 12

Detroit Princess Riverboat Dinner Cruise

Please note: Buses will depart from the hotel at 6:00PM Sharp and we will depart the boat by 8:45PM, arriving back at the hotel by 9:15PM. Times are approximate.

A Boat Ride to Remember

The Pioneer Award banquet will be held on the Detroit Princess Riverboat, which provides a beautiful view of the Detroit River and skyline. The Detroit Princess has been entertaining Detroiters in its current location, just downriver from Hart Plaza, since 2005, but it has a long history. It was built in Jennings, Louisiana in 1993 under the name Players Riverboat Casino II. For many years, it was a Merv Griffin, an American television host, establishment on the Mississippi River in Metropolis, Illinois.

Harrah's Hotel & Casinos eventually purchased the boat and relocated it to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where it operated as a casino boat for several years before being stripped of all gambling decor and abandoned in favor of a larger vessel. For several years, the boat sat idle in Orange, Texas. The owners intended to scrap the boat, but at the last minute, some people up north decided to intervene.

The current owners purchased the riverboat in 2004, and she made her first and final trip to her new home in Detroit. The boat was too large to navigate the Mississippi River's northern reaches, so it had to be towed around Florida, up the intercoastal waterway, past Nova Scotia, and through the St. Lawrence Seaway to reach the Great Lakes and a temporary home in Toledo.

The boat was refitted to operate as a restaurant in Ohio for several months, adding a full kitchen with eight convection ovens, ten steam cabinets, ten movable heater cabinets, two walk in coolers, a fully functioning dish room, and serving kitchens on each level that would soon serve Detroiters and tourists alike. The ship was ready to return home after being retooled. The riverfront felt a little empty until the Detroit Princess Riverboat arrived in 2005, and it has happily filled the role as Detroit's premier riverboat experience ever since.

View Photos of the Detroit Princess